Question I heard the life expectancy of a hard drive ranges between three to five years. I've had my hard drive for about four years now. Should I replace it?

Apr 19, 2021
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Alright, so before someone responds with "Why would you need to replace something that works?". There is more to my situation that meets the eye. The hard drive is no longer going to be used in my personal computer. I have plans on potentially using it in a bar-top arcade cabinet with a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB) as well as a power supply.

The problem is, I'm unsure if it is worth using this hard drive in the arcade cabinet if it will die in the near future. So I've had my Western Digital Blue 7200RPM 1TB for about 4 years now, however, on CrystalDiskInfo it says the health status is "Good" and that it has only clocked 14358 power on hours. For anyone who does not know, 14358 power on hours basically equates to the hard drive being on for approximately 1.64 years.

So when I google "How long should I expect my hard drive to last?", it will most commonly say 3 to 5 years. When it says this, is it referring to the physical age of the hard drive starting from the moment it was produced in a factory (since I've had my hard drive for 4 years at this point, I shouldn't be surprised if it died any day)? Or is it referring to the total time it has been powered on (since it has only been powered on for 1.64 years, it should be good for another 3 or 4 years)?

Honestly, it would be a headache if the hard drive died inside the cabinet. I have an older Intel 760P NVMe 256GB SSD that I don't use other than having it in an NVMe to USB 3.1 Type C enclosure (using it as an external drive but I honestly don't really need it). Even though it was pulled out of a brand new laptop in 2019, it has less than 500 power on hours.

Do you think it would be a safer bet using the SSD instead of the hard drive? It's a shame it is only a quarter of the storage, but I honestly don't want to worry about replacing the hard drive down the line as I plan on keeping this arcade cabinet for basically as long as possible. It would just be a big headache having to replace the drive. I know I keep saying it would be a "headache", well even though it would be a hassle opening up the cabinet and reaching into tight spaces to remove and replace the hard drive, this isn't the "headache" that I am referring to. I am referring to the headache of going back and having to redownload all of the game ROMs.

Anyway, I hope someone can give me some advice on what they think I should do.
 

Vyrvelata

Commendable
If you have important files always keep them on HDD .... because usually when hard drive is about to die... (if you have S.M.A.R.T enabled)... it will most likely warn you..... and with SSD... they just die... at once, no chance of warning you (expect if your reaching their read/write limit which is rare).
All of my drives are still alive (5+ years now, some 10+)...
There is nothing garantied in this world but if you want to be safe .... raid 1 and constant back-ups..
But if i have to choose SSD or HDD .... I would go for the HDD if S.M.A.R.T labels it as good.
 
and with SSD... they just die... at once, no chance of warning you (expect if your reaching their read/write limit which is rare).
How many SSDs have died on you this way?

Mine went into locked state with failed SMART parameters. Fully readable, but read only.
Another one failed by disconnecting from system after any i/o operations. Have to shutdown and restart for it to be detected again.
 
Apr 19, 2021
55
1
35
0
If you have important files always keep them on HDD .... because usually when hard drive is about to die... (if you have S.M.A.R.T enabled)... it will most likely warn you..... and with SSD... they just die... at once, no chance of warning you (expect if your reaching their read/write limit which is rare).
All of my drives are still alive (5+ years now, some 10+)...
There is nothing garantied in this world but if you want to be safe .... raid 1 and constant back-ups..
But if i have to choose SSD or HDD .... I would go for the HDD if S.M.A.R.T labels it as good.
Hello, thank you for this information. Just out of curiosity, how do you enable S.M.A.R.T.? My hard drive is a Western Digital Blue 7200RPM 1TB. On CrystalDiskInfo under features, it says that S.M.A.R.T. is one of its features. Does this mean it is automatically enabled?

Also, is the S.M.A.R.T. feature only usable in Windows? My arcade cabinet will be using a completely different operating system (Raspbian).
 

Vyrvelata

Commendable
Hello, thank you for this information. Just out of curiosity, how do you enable S.M.A.R.T.? My hard drive is a Western Digital Blue 7200RPM 1TB. On CrystalDiskInfo under features, it says that S.M.A.R.T. is one of its features. Does this mean it is automatically enabled?

Also, is the S.M.A.R.T. feature only usable in Windows? My arcade cabinet will be using a completely different operating system (Raspbian).
CrystalDisk reads the info from your S.M.A.R.T. it's implemented in the disk itself...every operating system supports S.M.A.R.T. readings and warnings!
I'm just not sure how did you connect it to PI (USB?)... so not sure how effective it will be in warning you when you're starting the PI.
S.M.A.R.T. always works... you just choose in the bios (before the system start's), should your bios warn you about the smart status or not (if you choose yes, it will warn you and always ask you if you want to proceed with booting with your damaged device... if the S.M.A.R.T. reading goes from Good to Bad).
So not sure how the PI bios is constructed and if it supports S.M.A.R.T. warning but you can always check your device with programs like CrystalDisk.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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If you have important files always keep them on HDD .... because usually when hard drive is about to die... (if you have S.M.A.R.T enabled)... it will most likely warn you..... and with SSD... they just die... at once, no chance of warning you (expect if your reaching their read/write limit which is rare).
All of my drives are still alive (5+ years now, some 10+)...
There is nothing garantied in this world but if you want to be safe .... raid 1 and constant back-ups..
But if i have to choose SSD or HDD .... I would go for the HDD if S.M.A.R.T labels it as good.
Any storage device can die at any time.

My two most recent....1 SSD and 1 HDD. The HDD was 5 weeks off the store shelf.
Full drive backups recovered 100% of the data on them.

If you wait until the drive tells you it is going bad to do any backups , you've waited far too long.
 

Vyrvelata

Commendable
Any storage device can die at any time.

My two most recent....1 SSD and 1 HDD. The HDD was 5 weeks off the store shelf.
Full drive backups recovered 100% of the data on them.

If you wait until the drive tells you it is going bad to do any backups , you've waited far too long.
Absolutely!
There is nothing guarantied in this world but if you want to be safe .... raid 1 and constant back-ups..
Just overall my experience with HDD's is better than SSD's
 
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chrysalis

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Up to you, if SMART is clean it will probably be ok.

Currently I have two 7 year old drives in my main PC although they about to be repurposed to be in redundant arrays as I consider them high risk now, I have a couple of 3-4 year old drives as well and not even considering retiring them at this point, in many of my servers I have drives over 5 years old, but all in redundant arrays.
 
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Tac 25

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Jul 25, 2021
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simple advice is always have a backup. My hard drive was purchased 2014, and it's still alive and kicking with games today.

important files.. like family photos, and certain games are saved to flash drives... just in case the hard drive suddenly fails someday.
 
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i always use a mirror system in windows or zfs raidz2 in linux, it is easy now to make a mirror in storage spaces, important data is always on a mirror storage space, my personal cloud server (nextcloud 22) on my intel NUC is on raidz2 with 5 hdds of 2 tb
 

mamasan2000

Distinguished
I have two HDDs that are 15 years old, still in my system. That said, consumer drives, from what I have read, only last 1-2 years if put in a NAS. I'm not exactly constantly reading and writing gigabytes of data to my drives.
The only HDDs I've had die on me was 2 Maxtor drives running Raid0 20 years ago. Both failed within a year from purchase. Never used Maxtor since. And only 1 SSD has died on me. It was still in warranty so I got a new one. That replacement SSD is still kicking, maybe 7 years later. Sandisk Ultra Plus 120gb, if that matters to anyone.
 

Tac 25

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I have two HDDs that are 15 years old, still in my system. That said, consumer drives, from what I have read, only last 1-2 years if put in a NAS. I'm not exactly constantly reading and writing gigabytes of data to my drives.
The only HDDs I've had die on me was 2 Maxtor drives running Raid0 20 years ago. Both failed within a year from purchase. Never used Maxtor since. And only 1 SSD has died on me. It was still in warranty so I got a new one. That replacement SSD is still kicking, maybe 7 years later. Sandisk Ultra Plus 120gb, if that matters to anyone.
whoa, 15 years... that's so long. You must have taken good care of them.

anyway, the reason I quoted is because you mentioned a familiar name.. Maxtor. Yeah, had one of those too when I still used Athlon mobo... - it was many years ago, but I could say that the Maxtor also lasted only for about a year or two.
 
i always use a mirror system in windows or zfs raidz2 in linux, it is easy now to make a mirror in storage spaces, important data is always on a mirror storage space, my personal cloud server (nextcloud 22) on my intel NUC is on raidz2 with 5 hdds of 2 tb
This is not an acceptable solution to prevent data loss. I don’t care what kind of raid anybody has it just doesn’t matter when the drives doe. you will lose your data. Have a back up instead
 

falcon291

Commendable
Jul 17, 2019
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Alright, so before someone responds with "Why would you need to replace something that works?". There is more to my situation that meets the eye. The hard drive is no longer going to be used in my personal computer. I have plans on potentially using it in a bar-top arcade cabinet with a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB) as well as a power supply.

The problem is, I'm unsure if it is worth using this hard drive in the arcade cabinet if it will die in the near future. So I've had my Western Digital Blue 7200RPM 1TB for about 4 years now, however, on CrystalDiskInfo it says the health status is "Good" and that it has only clocked 14358 power on hours. For anyone who does not know, 14358 power on hours basically equates to the hard drive being on for approximately 1.64 years.

So when I google "How long should I expect my hard drive to last?", it will most commonly say 3 to 5 years. When it says this, is it referring to the physical age of the hard drive starting from the moment it was produced in a factory (since I've had my hard drive for 4 years at this point, I shouldn't be surprised if it died any day)? Or is it referring to the total time it has been powered on (since it has only been powered on for 1.64 years, it should be good for another 3 or 4 years)?

Honestly, it would be a headache if the hard drive died inside the cabinet. I have an older Intel 760P NVMe 256GB SSD that I don't use other than having it in an NVMe to USB 3.1 Type C enclosure (using it as an external drive but I honestly don't really need it). Even though it was pulled out of a brand new laptop in 2019, it has less than 500 power on hours.

Do you think it would be a safer bet using the SSD instead of the hard drive? It's a shame it is only a quarter of the storage, but I honestly don't want to worry about replacing the hard drive down the line as I plan on keeping this arcade cabinet for basically as long as possible. It would just be a big headache having to replace the drive. I know I keep saying it would be a "headache", well even though it would be a hassle opening up the cabinet and reaching into tight spaces to remove and replace the hard drive, this isn't the "headache" that I am referring to. I am referring to the headache of going back and having to redownload all of the game ROMs.

Anyway, I hope someone can give me some advice on what they think I should do.
For WD blue the guarantee ends after 2 years. And after 4 years, if yours still work well you are lucky. And I don't think I would ever buy a WD Blue again.

I have 2 WD Blacks and they are working like 15 years without any problem. For WD Blacks are the kings.

Check its SATA values with CrystalDiskInfo and don't keep anything important for you at that drive and take regular backups and use cloud. This is my advice.
 
For WD blue the guarantee ends after 2 years. And after 4 years, if yours still work well you are lucky. And I don't think I would ever buy a WD Blue again.

I have 2 WD Blacks and they are working like 15 years without any problem. For WD Blacks are the kings.

Check its SATA values with CrystalDiskInfo and don't keep anything important for you at that drive and take regular backups and use cloud. This is my advice.
My 4TB WD Black failed after 1.5 years, so no, they are not kings!
 

Vyrvelata

Commendable
Your signature says, you have M.2 NVMe GAMMIX s11 240GB .
So ... I guess you're lying (one way or another).
2 years ago somebody from the team ordered from somewhere... 10x Toshiba Q300... All of them just died...Straight up ... some after 2 weeks other after 2 months..... warranty replaced ... again died... just died... you're connecting them ... and nothing nowhere...it's like you're connecting frame of plastic to your PC...
After some were replaced... we just stop bothering with warranty and just threw them.
Now we are using Crucial BX500 ... so far it's fine...
Never had the same experience with hdd at such a scale... or so fast!
 
2 years ago somebody from the team ordered from somewhere... 10x Toshiba Q300... All of them just died...Straight up ... some after 2 weeks other after 2 months..... warranty replaced ... again died... just died... you're connecting them ... and nothing nowhere...it's like you're connecting frame of plastic to your PC...
Ok, I see. Bad experience with one particular model.
Doesn't mean, all SSDs are bad and untrustworthy though.
 
No hdd is king, no ssd is the best ANY CAN FAIL AT ANY TIME! I have 2 seagate barracuda 8 years+ no issues, 1 iron wolf 10tb 4 years, no issues. I only had problems with WD, 4 failed until now in a span of 10 years but all my friends didnt and they also have a mix of seagate with WD. Like i said ANY CAN FAIL AT ANY TIME!
 
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